The University of Washington

The University of Washington (UW) is a public research university located in Seattle, Washington. Founded in 1861, it is one of the oldest universities on the West Coast and has the appearance of an “Ivy League” school.

Not to be confused with Washington University (St. Louis, MO) or Washington State University (Pullman, WA), The University of Washington is one of the highest ranked universities for its medical, engineering, and scientific research.

UW encompasses over 500 buildings and one of the largest library systems in the world with more than 26 university libraries as well as art centers, museums, laboratories, and lecture halls.

The university benefits from its deep historic ties and major collaborations with numerous technology giants in the region, such as Amazon, Boeing, Nintendo, and particularly Microsoft. Paul G. Allen, Bill Gates, and others spent a significant amount of time in the UW computer labs before founding Microsoft.

UW has been affiliated with 21 Nobel Prize laureates and numerous Pulitzer Prize winners, Fulbright Scholars, Rhodes Scholars, and Marshall Scholars. Notable alumni include Baskin Robbins co-founder Irv Robbins, martial artist Bruce Lee, saxophonist Kenny G, actor Rainn Wilson, and Christian actor Jim Caviezel.


The University of Washington offers bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees through its 140 departments. According to Best Colleges, the most popular majors at UW include: Social Sciences; Biological and Biomedical Sciences; Engineering; Computer and Information Sciences and Support Services; Business, Management, Marketing, and Related Support Services; Health Professions and Related Programs; Communication, Journalism, and Related Programs; Psychology; Physical Sciences; and Visual and Performing Arts.


UW’s main campus is situated by the shores of Union and Portage Bays, with views of the Cascade Range to the east and the Olympic Mountains to the west. Red Square is the heart of the campus, surrounded by landmark structures such as Suzzallo Library, the Broken Obelisk, and the statue of George Washington.

The University of Washington campus is absolutely gorgeous with its grand architecture, massive green lawns, forests of towering trees, ornate fountains, lovely gardens, and a small grove of magnificent cherry trees. These Yoshino cherries were planted around 1939 and are a beautiful sight in springtime.

Environmental sustainability has long been a major focus among UW’s Board of Regents and Presidents. In February 2006, the University of Washington joined a partnership with Seattle City Light as part of their Green Up Program, ensuring that all of the Seattle campus’ electricity is supplied by and purchased from renewable sources.

Additionally, UW’s Student Housing and Food Services (HFS) office has dedicated several million dollars annually towards locally produced, organic, and natural foods. HFS ceased the use of foam food containers on campus, opting for compostable cups, plates, utensils, and packaging whenever possible.

Homeschooled Applicants

UW’s screening process is highly selective – largely based on academic performance, recommendation letters, and extracurricular activities. The University of Washington does welcome homeschool students for the unique qualities they bring to campus. Homeschool applicants are assessed in the same context as other freshmen in the UW’s holistic review process. However, homeschooled applicants and students who come from schools with non-standard grading practices that do not have letter or numeric grades are required to submit SAT or ACT scores. Exceptions include homeschooled applicants with at least one year of college coursework. (AP courses don’t count.) For more information, see:

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